WPIAL bans Peters Township band after investigating ‘blackface’ allegations

PETERS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — The Peters Township band has been banned from performing at any WPIAL event after an investigation into “blackface” allegations during a football game against Woodland Hills, according to our news partners at TribLIVE.com.

The school district must submit a plan to “eradicate the social and racial insensitivity displayed by the marching band and its director/supervisors,” TribLIVE.com learned for the WPIAL. The ban will last at least six months.

In a picture that has been posted on social media, several members of the band appear to be wearing Halloween costumes to the Oct. 30 game. Two students, drum majors in the band, marched at the front wearing a full-body black spandex suit. Some perceived the suits as the modern-day equivalent of “blackface.”

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An assistant coach went and spoke with the band director, telling him he felt the band offended their program by having the drum majors dressed like that.

Late in the game, a brief fight broke out between the two teams, though it’s unclear if the accusations were the cause of it.

The WPIAL Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council reviewed documents submitted by each school district, “had lengthy discussions on appropriate actions” and made recommendations to the WPIAL board, Executive Director Amy Scheuneman told TribLIVE.com.

In addition to the ban, the WPIAL requested that Peters Township impose “appropriate discipline or other rectifying actions” against its band director “to ensure similar incidents do not occur in the future,” according to TribLIVE.com.